Thursday, April 14, 2016

I really don't mind

A woman comes to me at the front desk of the library. She has a book club in a bag that she had checked out, which is a collection of ten of the same book, in a sort of a small duffel bag, along with a notebook full of useful information for people having a book club meeting featuring said book. She was missing one of the ten books. There was a long story about how this book had been frantically searched for. All the book club members had been individually grilled. All insisted they had returned their copy of the book.

The theory this woman was now operating with, and hoping was true, was that one of the book club members had returned the book individually to one of our libraries. Unfortunately there was no note on this person's record to indicate such a thing had happened and, when I searched our problem area, this theory fell apart, we did not have the book.

At this point the woman decided she had kept the item over long, and she was extremely unlikely to ever track the missing book down and figured she'd best replace the book. I told  her that she could pay for a replacement copy but not actually buy a copy and replace it. This disappointed her, but she accepted it. I researched costs on the item, explained that once paid for we would not be able to take back the book. All was agreed to and I put a charge for $15.99 on the patron's record. She handed the book club in a bag over to me.

It had all ten books in it.

I cleared the fine from her record, checked the bag in, and sent her on her way.

Eh, I suppose that's library work for you. You put the book on the shelf, someone takes it off the shelf, and you put it on the shelf again . Then someone takes the book off the shelf and you put it back on the shelf in the same place they took it off from. There is no real destination or completion. You don't actually ever get anywhere. It's all about the joy of the journey.

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